What hiring managers are really look for with Chris Hodge of Kinkore Consulting

How to sell yourself & what hiring managers really look for with Chris Hodge

Today I talk with Chris Hodge a biz-dev expert whose passion for recruiting people who are looking for meaningful work helps hundreds of startups make amazing hires. Listen as we talk about what the best candidates are doing to stand out right now, the importance of being intentional, and how to future-proof your career.

You can find Chris online @KinkorConsult on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and at www.kinkorconsulting.com.

Photo of Chris Hodge
Chris Hodge

The Director of Business Development at Kinkor Consulting who has helped numerous startups make hires and people find meaningful work.

Maren Kate 0:00

Hey folks, welcome to Inde On Air. My guest today I'm super excited with, uh, with about. His name is Chris Hodge. We've known each other for a few years. Chris is currently Director of Business Development at King core consulting, and previously has helped hundreds of startups if not more, make amazing hires in San Francisco and beyond. But more importantly, he's really passionate about helping people find meaningful work. And that is why he's decided to give us some of his time and get both a hiring managers perspective, but also someone who's just seen thousands of candidates and knows no sales himself. So Chris, thank you so much for being here.

Chris Hodge 0:41

Absolutely. My pleasure.

Maren Kate 0:44

So first off, I've always really loved your story and just a few minutes or so can you kind of like share, share your your story and how you got to where you are? I know it's been an interesting path.

Chris Hodge 0:59

Yeah, without it out, you know, I like to say, my approach to, you know, my job, what I choose to wake up and do every day has always been very startup centric. You know, almost right out of undergrad at UC Davis, I jumped into a startup with a close group of friends. We, you know, I think we did a lot, right, I think we did a lot wrong. You know, over the course of almost a decade, we were able to fundraise between eight $9 million to get the details of which I'll leave out for now. But, um, you know, we started to start up, and a lot of us saw many corners of the world is we're building this thing. I foolishly and erroneously thought it was the last job I was ever going to have, you know, somebody in there. I'll do Yeah. Um, and, you know, off the back of that, you know, shutting the door on that was tough. It was really, really difficult. And I think through interviewing, through really internalizing that process of going, Wow, you know, I, you know, this this dream kind of over in one sense and I shut the door on that. And again, as most of us that fall into recruiting it was that it was a very circuitous thing. I liked the idea of helping people find jobs. I had no knowledge of recruiting before I actually jumped into just a pretty standard staffing agency, which I don't necessarily consider to be the same thing as like recruiting, especially recruiting at tech startups. But that was my foray into into recruiting was it was at a staffing company and helping a lot of brick and mortar companies, everything everyone from banks to nonprofits, very little tech at that time. help you find them temporary workers in a lot of cases it wasn't even necessarily finding full time. employees. I knew after doing that for a few years, I really wanted to get back into tech, not necessarily jump back into a startup, but help young burgeoning tech companies find and hire, cultivate the right talent. And from there, I jumped into an agency that was acutely focused on early stage tech startups and hiring. And that really is what I kind of, you know, when I planted my flag in terms of I really want to focus on the startup world, technology startups generally venture backed, but not always. Because it's just such an exciting thing to be a part of helping these young companies grow turbulent to at times, right as we're seeing right now. It's a roller coaster ride, expect some ups and downs. But yeah, it really did. You know, my entrance into recruiting was off the back of a failed startup.

Maren Kate 3:57

Yeah, isn't that funny how that happens. And I mean, The other thing that I think is awesome about, you know, what you've done is that you have your group of, of recruiters where you do the recruiting roundtable and you have pretty much built a group of what 1500 people or more in all the major US cities and remote, who are like the best recruiters in their field.

Chris Hodge 4:21

I'd like to think so I think it would be erroneous to think that I know, every, you know, every one of the best recruiters across the country but you know, certainly what started as, you know, just building my network building, building my network, to say, I want to say something that is able to be leveraged because I truly think the idea of like, you know, givers gain which is a pillar of DNI which is a networking group. You know, it's, it's, you have to give to get and I think just by virtue of building out my Network one of my favorite books is a book called your network is your net worth. And I think there's, it's 100% true. There's a ton of credence to that. But yeah, really, this I didn't set out to build this recruiters network really, what I set out to do was just to learn, learn from great people around me people, I knew that were doing good things in recruiting, and it started very, very small. It started literally with a happy hour with five friends. One of them was at Facebook at the time. Another one was at a sourcing tool that's fairly prominent called Intel. Oh, and I, I actually coax them in by saying, Hey, you know, all by the first couple rounds of drinks, but let's just get together no big agenda, no Mo. And I'd love to ask a few questions. You know about what your day to day is like. What tools are you using? Where are you hitting roadblocks? Like maybe there's even a little commiserating that happens in there, right? Yeah. And off the off that single meeting now almost three years ago. We all come The left and said, Hey, this was worthwhile. Maybe we should do this again next month. And you know what, maybe we each go invite one person from our network that wants to be involved in this, whatever this is. Fast forward to today. And, and yeah, it's pretty, it's pretty cool. We span I think something like seven different time zones across across my humble little group called the talent thought talk. And I can also sit on the board of directors for the Silicon Valley recruiters Association, which, you know, affiliated, we're probably at least 1000 recruiters, now also all across the nation, North America in general. So, you know, for me, it really started with figuring out what was important to a small subset of the recruiting population, and extrapolating that as we kind of met on a monthly basis and realize that there was an appetite for it, certainly newer technology tools now, especially they're more important than ever in see 19 times. Yep, collaborate seems like collaboration tools like slack allow us to continue the conversation when we can't physically meet in person. Yeah, like, you know, via an in person Roundtable.

Maren Kate 7:10

So, so that's actually that's funny you call it C 19. I say the Rona. That's a my, my term of my term of choice. It kind of lightens it a little bit for me gallows humor, I guess. Right. So this just made me think of something that I've been thinking a lot about, as I've been writing this book is. I mean, we know both of us coming from the recruiting world that it's like 40 something percent of hires are made through referrals. direct referrals are something similar to that. And so many times I talk to people who are newly employed, and maybe they've been in job for years, maybe they were raising a family, whatever the reason, they're looking for a job now maybe they're just they're trying to go remote, and they're like, I need to find a new role. Sure, and often, they haven't nurtured their network or built a really strong network. I mean, I've known I'm sure you do too. I've known some freakin Stone Cold dummies that get phenomenal jobs because they have great networks and they're good at it. And then I know people that are insanely talented and just like, you know, crazy hard and smart workers, but maybe they're more introverted. They've never really flex that muscle. I love the corollary. I love thinking about what you did with the talent, thought talks and thinking how could people do that for different based on their industry and what not even like what they're in right now. But what you're saying is like what they wanted to get in, because like you wanted to learn about recruiting. So you created this group, I wanted to become really good at hiring. So I started a recruiting agency, like I was like, there's no there's gonna be a one good way to learn this. It's by doing it and get out and do it. Yeah, so it's like, I mean, how would you like how could we teach someone right now to Like, what would the framework be for building your network enough? An authentic way? Right. Now during times of the Rona?

Chris Hodge 9:08

Yeah, no, it's it's a great question. And I think a good way I'd answer that is people have networks, they just don't know it. Right. And I don't really use the word leverage or, you know, use so and so are used. I just, I don't know how else to put it. But I mean, think about it. You have people all around you, that can help you get to where you want to go. Where did you go to school? You know what, not everyone went to college. That's okay. Who have you kept in touch with from high school? You know, I went to UC Davis as my undergrad. Even Davis offers a whole slew of alumni programs, outreach programs that you can choose to get involved with civic organizations, you know, if you go to church, you know, your place of worship, even the neighbors physically around you, where you Live.

Maren Kate 10:00

That's a good point, especially now

Chris Hodge 10:02

because everyone's at home. Everyone's at home right? What is your make a friend? Yeah, neighbor Bob do up the street. What is Susie do down the block right? Next Door calm is a hotbed of people that want to socialize and learn more about their neighborhoods. Right. Good idea. You know, there's civic groups of all sorts, right? I mean, I know, it's actually very well written about. There's a phenomenal book, talking about the decline of civic engagement in America. Don't get me started on this because I'll dork out on it. But it was it was reading for political science again, back in another lifetime at UC Davis. But it was called Bowling Alone by a guy named Robert Putnam, amazing book. Amazing. Really, really good book,

Maren Kate 10:46

but he else mentioned about literally a week ago to me,

Chris Hodge 10:49

yeah, it's a phenomenal book about how, you know you used to be involved in any clubs or bowling leagues or whatever it was. That's where the name came from Bowling Alone, but go out there. Get involved with stuff. Obviously, it's a little bit harder now that we're sheltering in place. But you have more people around you than you think you do, right? Go cultivate your LinkedIn network. And if all else fails, there's professional groups that meet through websites like meetup.com. Again, how that's working now might have changed a little bit. But you know, I know here in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, you could spend an entire day going to completely free meetups, Oh, totally on a myriad of things, whether it's SAS or AI technology, or maybe it's not even that technical right around the Bay Area, sales professionals or marketers or whatever it might be. I guarantee if you look hard enough, you're gonna find repositories of people that you can tap into.

Maren Kate 11:54

And I know especially now where even though some some places are, you know, as we're recording this In May of 2020, some places are opening up, but people are still tending to stay home. People have more time on their hands than before. There's a there's something if you google like list of slack lists or something lists of slack groups, that's another way find slack groups. I think part of the formula too, is being really nice. I think that and I'm sure you realize this too, or you've seen this too, is like maybe millennials, it's morally not just millennials. But I've noticed the younger I talked to a professional, the more generalized their skill set is like versus when I talk to someone who maybe is my parents age, they're like, yeah, I've been in sales for 30 years, and I've been in inside sales. You're like, Okay, I see your box, and that's actually helpful. But when I talk to someone, that's my little brother's age, they're like, Yeah, I do this, but I also do that and blah, blah. And the problem is, is like it's interesting and in some ways, it's great to be a generalist and a jack of all trades, or Jill of all trades or a one of all trades. Whatever it is, uh, but when you're trying to find a job that works against you to go so broad, like, we really have to look at ourselves like we're a product we're marketing. So I guess that kind of that leads me to like, from from a recruiter and a hiring managers point of view, because obviously, you know, lots of those two, what do you see the best candidates doing even in tough economic times to stand out because now they're competing with 500 1000 2000 other applicants, especially for these remote

Chris Hodge 13:33

roles? Yeah, you know, it's it's a great question. And I think we're just we're just starting to see this shift as I mean, we've talked we've already talked about this. And it's, it's right in front of us as we see companies like Facebook, making big bold public statements that they're going to take almost 50,000 workers across the world and and open up at least 50% of their jobs worldwide to remote possible workers. Right. I mean, it's it's, it's some of what we know. But I think it's it's, it's just more acutely hyper, a mix, it just stands out more like for example, be purpose driven, you know, want to produce results that make a difference in your company. And again, some of these things are hard to assess. I think I think it's going to be on the company on the hiring manager to figure out behavioral questions don't work anymore. Right. And that's Yeah, that's the worker has a long track record of previous remote work. But really, be purpose driven and what you want to do have a reason to want to go do it right. If it's, if it's sales, you know, be gregarious, be outspoken. really embrace what you're doing that will shine through even a computer screen. You going across a slack tool because you're not going to have a micromanager managing you. So make make sure you're purpose driven and unintentional. Be self motivated. You know, I think it's very easy to go dark in the interview process. When again, when it's a phone call, or it's a video interview, or it doesn't feel as personal as in person. Don't go dark, in fact over communicate, because again, when people don't see you or don't hear from you, most of the time, they're going to assume the worst. like totally what was Sally doing? I know she I didn't see her on the Slack channel or you know what she's a few minutes late to this call or whatever it is. Yeah. Over communicate, be on time or be early just as you would in person right. You went so

Maren Kate 15:44

especially in the in the hiring process to that's also super important to like, over, over communicate over reach out, right? Absolutely.

Chris Hodge 15:55

I think so. I mean, having a company hear from you in the right way now, you can't blast somebody five times a day, right? But, you know, once a week is okay, you know, it's okay to be proactive and go back to that hiring manager go back, you know, to that founder that you've had good conversations with and go, Hey, you know what, I just wanted to catch you up on what I have going on on my end. You know, I started talking to a couple more companies. I wanted to give you the heads up on this because you're still my top choice and I want you to know how much I want to work for your company. Oh, man, are you kidding me as a founder, if it's between you and maybe one or two other people hearing that sort of intentionality and passion for that role? I mean, that equal percentage of candidates do that. It's lovely. What would you say? You know, I it's a good question. Because below I think it's low. I think it's really low because it can people doubt is this is my bugging them, am I am I being too overbearing and yes, there can be a point you know, again, You're not sending two or three emails or making two or three phone calls a day to the same person. But, you know, once maybe even twice a week, if you know, you're getting down to the deadline, and and the hiring manager and company has done it, right, they said, Look, we're getting into final stages, you know, they might even let you know, it's between you and these few other people. I think it's, it's not only okay, but I would do it, I would go the extra mile to let them know how passionate I am to work for them, their company, what they're building the vision that they have, and how you how you can positively affect all of that.

Maren Kate 17:34

Absolutely. And I mean, I think that's it's like commute over communicating is essential with remote work no matter what, and over communicating in an authentic way in the hiring process. You know, I tell everyone I talked to when they're applying like, don't just first of all when you apply, like when you're whether it's a cover letter, which I kind of hate or like answering a few questions if companies put that really put time and effort into it instead. of spamming 100 companies and applying on LinkedIn or angellist or whatever, pick 10 and know exactly why you want it. Know why you want the industry know why you want the role know the problem they're trying to solve and how you are the, the pain pill for that and be able to communicate that. I mean, one of the things I see people doing, I think it's like 5% of candidates, like there's a top 5% and it's like 95% of the others. Like one of the women that works with me, Kristin, she sent in for our little we asked for a paragraph, why are you interested? yada yada? She sent in the paragraph but you also said I wanted to record this on loom and embedded the video and record them one minute video answering the same question. And I was like, That's brilliant. She just bumped up into the top 5% because of that extra mile. And then even when people you know you can use a tool like use tools recruiters do like signal, hire whatever and find people's email and reach out directly and say hey, I just want to let you know I applied. I'm really excited. This is why this is who I'm at. I look forward to hearing from you. If somebody's trying to sort through 200 or 1000 applications or resumes, that's gonna immediately bubble you up. If you do it in an authentic way, it's the same as sales, right? It's like if I get spammy sales make messages, it's not gonna mean anything to me. But if I get personalized one, it's interesting.

Chris Hodge 19:21

Oh, 100%. I love that example where it's funny. You mentioned that because a, a mandate for again, part of what I've said on the board of directors for SV era Silicon Valley recruiters Association for two years, we are all as board members recording a 32nd to one minute loom video to share with with the recruiting ecosystem. And I've really seen a big proliferation of those sorts of tools, the loom s tools, I know there's a few more out there and seeing some really good results from candidates that are using it in effective smart ways like that. And I totally agree with you, too. On reaching out to recruiters, whether you're at an agency, and you can potentially make a commission on placing someone or your internal, and you just simply need to hit your numbers, you know, by hitting that, you know, 15 hires in a quarter or 20 hires in a quarter, whatever it is. recruiters are out there to help people get jobs and reaching out easy for them, make it easy for them reach out to that recruiter and say, Hey, I read this white paper about, you know, machine learning. And you know, I've done a little digging, and I've, you know, I jumped on get GitHub and I read some open source threads on what is top of mind, you know, oh my gosh, I'm a recruiter, I get something proactive like that. You're absolutely right. Forget the all Apply button of this stuff coming in through the info at inbox. That's the next call I'm making is that person that was super intentional, and put thought into the outreach.

Maren Kate 20:55

Absolutely. And the funny thing is, even though you know in some way People are like, Oh my gosh, there's there's let's say 510 x as much competition now, that makes it even more important to, to help, you know like to help the recruiter help their company because they're just overwhelmed by all the top of the funnel. So if I get an amazing person coming to me making it easy in their quality, that's, like, that's a no brainer. It's It's incredible.

Chris Hodge 21:25

Yeah, I mean, one one real life example of that, I believe it was GitHub, that literally as of probably a month ago, took down all of their open wrecks. They said, it's, it's completely flies in the face of what we were seeing six months ago in recruiting, they are overwhelmed. It's not a function of not enough people applying. There's so many people applying, it's now finding through a needle in a stack of needles. So they have they've taken out all of their open wrecks and now they are only outbound sourcing to find the right People Oh credible?

Maren Kate 22:02

Wow. Well there's a freaking interesting idea like going and finding who's recruiting and GitHub and going directly to them. These wherever

Chris Hodge 22:09

get lab I'll have to go. But yes, both of them right but what if you're a candidate

Maren Kate 22:14

check both. That's um, yeah, they're they're similar in some ways. So, okay, the opposite of that. And I always find this really interesting. I love learning this myself is what are some of the biggest mistakes you see candidates making? Oh,

Chris Hodge 22:30

and again, I you know, per the question you just asked you know, I think it's, it's the same sorts of things, but it's just, it's hyper. We're hypersensitive to it now that like, this is a whole new hiring paradigm right that we've entered into but, um, you know, procrastination, you know, get ahead of these things. Reactive don't procrastinate. You know, it's every single day almost. We're seeing companies means that again six months ago, were a, you know, at least again in our world for the most part, right? tech venture backed, generally building software, Airbnb, you know, they were on top of the world. Last year, Uber Lyft. These companies that had these massively publicized, you know, IPOs, or m&a events, and, you know, they were deemed, which I think it's a silly, almost meaningless moniker now, but they were deemed unicorns, right, with a valuation of over a billion dollars. And they were responsible for a myriad of layoffs at this point. So the sheen has been pulled back a little bit. And these companies are laying off people in droves. So get done, don't wait until tomorrow, get it done today, whatever that thing is, whether it's, it's, you know, going to look at the 10 best LinkedIn profiles for sales professionals. That'll give you a great idea on how to snazzy up your LinkedIn right your your professional self Right. How to use other social media tools in ways to find a job. Point is don't procrastinate get it done today, because yeah, there's gonna be another 10,000 hundred thousand potential employees on the market. I think that's a good point. speaking more to like this new remote norm, get into a routine. Wake up like you're going into the office, right? Take a shower, have your cup of coffee, get up early, put on clothes, that aren't your pajamas that aren't just a pair of sweat pants, right? dress like you're actually going into that that will shift that will get you into that mindset that I am going to work today even if it means walking down the hallway, you know, to your kitchen table or to your office. Right your your office setup. There is another thing get an office set up. Yes, john. Yeah,

Maren Kate 24:51

no, that's, that's so important. I mean, one thing I've it struck me in the last few years is that when we're looking for a job Job we're looking for work, we don't tend to approach it like we would if we were doing like a job, like getting a job as a job, like you should run it, like a job you start in the morning, or whenever you would start your work, you know, like, there are some night owls. But for most people, it's in the morning, you get your coffee, and then you send your outbound emails you I mean, like everyone needs to have a little bit of sales in them, because they're selling themselves and everybody now, especially with technology and the rapid evolution of remote work, everyone needs to have a little like, understand Product Marketing and apply it to themselves and say, until I get my next job, this is my job. And I don't think many people approach it that way. I think we kind of, we've just, it's just like, it's interesting that we're not taught courses in college or in high school on like, how to be not only how to be a professional, but how to get a job. How do you think about your career versus just kind of like bopping from one thing to another

Chris Hodge 26:02

totally yeah i 100% agree. I wonder against thinking like to the Robert putnams in Bowling Alone what happened to like home Mac and some of the things that we I mean I'm gonna date myself here I'm 38 years old but I remember it wasn't even called Home Economics is called something else but learn how to balance a checkbook and do like all of these like real world things like controlling your finances in a time like this. So raise money right i mean you know you're gonna see these ups and downs the economy cyclical as it is, but even since 2000, we you know, 2000 saw the.com bubble 2008 was a whole different sort of crash and now we have this that nobody saw coming so be responsible in a fiduciary sense to not not that that necessarily applies to looking for a job but

Maren Kate 26:52

I mean, they all tie in when you think about it, we most of us work for for money in the beginning, but I think it's most it's, you know, the larger story purpose, and it does really all tie in. I think one of the things we're going I hope we're gonna see when we come out on the other side of this is people. People prioritizing independence more. And that's financial independence, that's location independence in terms of, you know, remote work and things like that. But also like, do I need to kill myself and pay $3,000 a month for a studio in San Francisco? Or do I maybe want to live in a, you know, a smaller house in a rural area and, and do things I enjoy and raise my family and work remote? I think we're starting to have people question that a lot more. I know, I've questioned it myself. We were just before talking about some friends we know that have decided to make major life decisions because it's a good time to do it. Like why not

Chris Hodge 27:47

100% and just to dovetail back on the original question. I have an office setup and I know that means yes. Not everyone has the luxury of having an office right or a spirit bedroom in the house. But it could be a walk in closet that you've, you know, you moved your clothes out of have a space have your space, especially if you have kids or roommates or dogs have someplace that you feel you can go to focus and get your work done. And as it goes for, you know, this new era of remote work when you find that remote job, hopefully right. Also, don't forget to set up structure and boundaries around remote hours, quote unquote, right? setting your slack to away, you know, at six or 7pm or whenever it is that you're logging off, right, like you said there could I think it is we're also going to see this usher in this new idea around you know, it's not an eight to five anymore. It might be that you get up at five in the morning, you hammer out some emails, you hammer out some code or you do this thing. And well the way it is right now you got kids at home, you got to homeschool him for a few hours in the morning and then you log back in and that afternoon and you know, you, you piece together an eight or nine or 10 hour work day. But setting those boundaries, setting some structure and some boundaries. Also, when you do start, you know, your new remote job is really important for your mental health and feeling like there's some sort of separation between work in home life is really important.

Maren Kate 29:21

Oh, it's so vital, especially just for productivity getting in those habits. What, in terms of if you were like if right now you were looking for work, and you were starting from kind of maybe a blank slate? What industries what roles do you think are like, you know, damn, if you can get in those, those are roles that in the next 1020 years are only going to grow? Like what industries what professions Do you think help future proof one's career?

Chris Hodge 29:52

That's a great question. I'm going to kind of parse it up into a couple different answers here. And I think in general, just by virtue Two of the companies that I helped recruit for, you know, my venture capital network, following the money, I think is a great way to understand. You know what, you know what? Look VCs are smart people. And the reason they're VCs is return on investment. They're not really what a VC does at the end of the day is they're gambling. They're going I think this thing over here, right? Uber and Lyft. It's revolutionized what was a tired, it taxis. I can tell you many million horror stories about taxis and now I can call them from my phone, they show up to my house in five minutes. Amazing. Follow the money. First and foremost, see what you know, these institutional and angel investors and private equity people are investing in right now. Just like we're talking on the phone about this, it's remote work. It's collaboration software. It's probably not not necessarily program but maybe project management, collaboration tools, anything that can help work remotely better. We're gonna see a proliferation of funding in, you know, zoom, the idea of video calls, this has been around for a decade. But all of a sudden now it's it's it, you have to have

Maren Kate 31:15

a norm

Chris Hodge 31:16
you have right you have to integrate that. No, Google has made Google meats free on on, you know, if you have Gmail and some of these companies have kind of opened up because they see the value in providing this free, at least for as long as the world is shut down. You I think, to anything that's disrupting age old industries. And again, I'm not an expert here, but I'd say follow, you know, go on crunchbase. Go on CB insights, see what the top 20 investment buckets are, you know, I know it's a lot of FinTech, right now. blockchain to a certain extent, I think there was a lot of hype around distributed ledger technology, blockchain crypto a couple of years ago. But blockchain in a more general sense, or FinTech in a more general sense to disrupt old ways of moving money. No, even now, the quickest way for me to send you $1 is probably on Venmo. And in a few days for that money that your bank account, it should be instantaneous, right? So I know it's kind of a general answer, but anything that's going to disrupt old ways of doing things, old ways of thinking, right, so anything that's going to help usher in this new remote world of work and collaboration and socializing, you know, everything from streaming to, you know, I recently downloaded a fun free app called house party. And it Yeah, takes the usual, you know, video call that you can do on your phone. And it integrates like free games that you can play with your friends and your family that bring people that bridges this new remote world right in ways that we hadn't necessarily thought of before. They just weren't as relevant because we just get a car and go drive to mom's house or go drive to our buddy's house to watch football on Sunday. Well, that's changing. And

Maren Kate 33:02

I think I think another important thing to think about too is when someone is looking for work when they're in this position of maybe shifting jobs or finding a new job is to also reevaluate your skill set and say, is my because honestly, like, even though obviously, all roles won't go remote, but a lot of knowledge work, any non repetitive knowledge work is going to get more and more digitized and to be more and more connected to technology. So even like a base level of technological competence, I think to be to still have work in the next 10 years, you absolutely have to do you and me that was the second part of my answer there. There is a myriad of amazing

Chris Hodge 33:50

opportunities out there both pay for play and not to level up and that's what that's what so many experts are saying is you know what, if you have the luxury of like, looking for a job maybe part time but also leveling up skill wise do it. Everything from boot camps like app Academy General Assembly, there's a ton of online e learning everything from lynda.com, which I believe was bought by LinkedIn, it was it is now. Right now. It's not

Maren Kate 34:19

like planning it better, but I like the name.

Chris Hodge 34:23

masterclass. I have oh my gosh, yeah, I happen to know, the venture capital firm that invested in masterclass, and they were doing pretty good up until about March and all this exploded, right? And it doesn't necessarily just go for skills, even though I would say if, if you're serious about it, yes, you know, go. You can go you know, I know Excel. Am I a master at Excel? No, Excel is an incredibly powerful program that on a long enough timeline, it is the basis for like, so much equal server, right, you better be an X to excel if you're going to go fully into like database management and that whole thing, there's so many ways that you can even you know, learning how to play guitar online right? levels don't stagnate. And honestly, like

Maren Kate 35:13

I said, one of the questions, my, my agency, whenever we're recruiting for a company, one of the questions we ask usually is, what's something you learned recently? Can you teach me something you learned recently? I probably wouldn't know. I don't care what they learned the fact that they're learning that is like, and it is, and that's one of the beauties like you know of it. You can be any age you can be the ability to learn and be curious. You can be housebound, you can be in a you know, wheelchair, and you can still find that information online, which is beautiful. I think this just popped into my head and I just scribbled it down because I want to add it to the book later, is that I love the idea of thinking that your job is finding a job, but that doesn't necessarily mean that eight hours a day you're doing it Maybe the first two hours you're you're working your process your network your outbound You know, you're you're being proactive and then maybe the next six hours you are leveling up your skill set, you're you're learning something you wanted to and then you're learning something that will that will push you forward. You know, like maybe you're learning how to set up basic zaps on Zapier is a very narrow promise, but things that especially like things that are a little bit outside your comfort zone, forcing yourself to under to learn whatever it is even something as simple as Canva like I recently learned how to do Canva and I'm like, this is literally changed my life. Yeah, like I'm just like on it all the time. And I'm not a designer, but just being able to now design basic crap without having to ping my designer and being like, Hey, could you do this for me? Are you kidding me? Just resizing an image sometimes it's amazing turning a self aware picture into a circle. I'm still like,

Chris Hodge 36:57

boo. No, I know. It's so funny. I just recently learned About that tool to in times of COVID. So I love it. And yeah, there's just, you said the right word. Be curious. And if that really is your mindset,

Maren Kate 37:13

you will succeed because you'll always adapt and eat. And right now you either are adapting or you're it's adapt or die, because it's not going to the pace of technology isn't going to slow down. And over the next who knows, few years, five years, 10 years, our economy is going to be rougher than it was the last 10 years. So you need to you need to step your game up even more than you were before. 100% and

Chris Hodge 37:37

all of us. Yeah, and there's just there's so many great options for it. There's so many free resources online, it's it's totally just incredible. So be curious, even if you're spending a half an hour searching for, you know, you know, what's the what's the best platform to learn, you know, again, a language I mean, there's so So many free things online free white papers, free resources, totally on Reddit threads on get GitHub and get lab. You know, there's no excuse now to not be leveling up in some fashion. Yeah, and I think the last thing to say too, is, is

Maren Kate 38:18

I think it always kind of amazes me that we don't invest more in our careers and our professional selves, we spend so much on everything from, you know, hair and makeup to, I don't know, fantasy football or, you know, online gaming apps or just a ton of stuff. We spend all this money and then what we spend so little money on usually is the thing that actually makes us the money to buy all this other crap. You know, it's it kind of boggles my mind when I think about it. I'm like, why don't I invest more in my career? Like, why don't I invest more in, in learning in growing and leveling up? I'm

Chris Hodge 38:57

guessing is I think this is showing companies are embracing that, you know, what I've noticed is a little bit more in, like, companies are giving stipends, you know, hey, yeah, spend this at home on a on a on a new ergonomic laptop or a new standing desk. That's one thing, almost more importantly, or equally as important as that is providing legitimate elearning budgets. Like I even know some companies literally, you know, incentivizing it between 1000 to $2,000. That amazing, just give us the receipt, and go get on that course on on lynda.com or LinkedIn learning or you'll get all and that's, that's a cool thing to see. companies investing in their people. And at that point, it's like, Alright, then there really is no excuse or money. Money shouldn't be the excuse to level up a bit and continue your learning journey. Yeah, absolutely.

Maren Kate 39:55

This has been so awesome, Chris. Um, how can people find you online. And then how can they find out more about kink core consulting? And I want to make stress alert right to

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